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Chairmanship aspirant calls for transparency in Nasarawa FA elections



Chairmanship aspirant calls for transparency in Nasarawa FA elections


Abuja, April 24, 2019 A chairmanship aspirant in Nasarawa State Nigerian Football Association (NFA), Mr Haliru Ibrahim, has called on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to ensure transparency in the elections.

Ibrahim made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

NNN reports that the elections scheduled for May 27 across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are to elect new officials for the state football associations.

Ibrahim, popularly known as ‘’Zee’’ said the call to Glass House became necessary given the manner the outgoing executives in Nasarawa had been handling the election process.

“NFF should ensure that Nasarawa FA election is credible and acceptable to everybody.

“It should not be a one man show, somebody should not sit down in his house and determine what happens in a popular sport like football for the entire state.

“I want NFF to please come into the matter and solve this problem.

“There was NFF communique in November 2018 that all the states and FCT should organise their congresses and start the process of conducting their next FA elections.

“Nasarawa FA did not respond to that until over one month, Mohammad Alkali-led exco only realised the need for a congress after some of us (aspirants) held a media briefing on the matter.

“What they did earlier was to organise something that was not in any way near a congress. They handpicked everyone, including Electoral College members.

“It was the electoral guidelines which NFF had to approve that made them rush down to Abuja and realised such election could not stand.

“I think some NFF national leaders were aware of developments in Nasarawa FA that was when they started selling forms to interested aspirants.

“We later bought forms to contest for various posts, I bought to contest for chairmanship position. They called us for screening.

“It was in the process of going for the screening that we got a hint that they would disqualify us if we ever go for the screening.

“I wonder why one will be disqualified for following laid down rules.

“We went for the screening and up till now, we have not heard anything from them, we only heard some people saying we have been disqualified, no letter or any form of notification to that effect.

“As far as I and other contestants in my group are concerned, we are still in the race for Nasarawa FA election.

“We therefore, call for NFF’s intervention to exercise our right to vie for posts in a free and fair atmosphere.’’

“The competition availed the state FA of the opportunity to discover good talents in the state.

“Good football administration should be felt at the grassroots by both the players and officials, that is what I am bringing on board,” he said.

NNN reports that NFF has given all the state FAs deadline between May 26 and June 30, for their board executive officers’ elections.



Rohr calls up 21 old faces, 4 new faces for Super Eagles’ 2 friendlies



Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up 25 players ahead of October’s friendly matches against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia, scheduled for Austria.

Ademola Olajire, the Director of Communications, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), disclosed in a statement on Monday in Abuja that five other players have been put on standby.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the friendlies are the three-times African champions’ first games this year, as a result of the prolonged global coronavirus pandemic.

Rohr has listed the team’s top names such as Ahmed Musa, Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong and Wilfred Ndidi, as well as new brooms Frank Onyeka and Chidera Ejuke.

Former FIFA Under-17 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Dele Alampasu returns to the group, as well as midfielder Mikel Agu.

Captain of the most recent Nigeria under-17 squad, Samson Tijani, will join up with the elite, as well as Portugal-based exciting wing-back Zaidu Sanusi.

Goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, now in The Netherlands, is heading to Austria for the games, just as England-based forward Kelechi Iheanacho also returns.

Victor Osimhen, now in Italy with Napoli, and another former U17 World Cup winner Samuel Chukwueze are also called up.

The Super Eagles, now ranked 29th in the world and third in Africa, will take on the Elephants on Oct. 9.

They will four days later engage the Carthage Eagles, who are second in Africa in the rankings.

Both games have been arranged by the NFF to prepare the Super Eagles for the next rounds of 2022 AFCON qualifiers, home and away against Sierra Leone in November.      


Goalkeepers: Dele Alampasu (FK Ventspils, Latvia); Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)

Midfielders: Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasary SK, Turkey); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyril Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium)

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)

Standby: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Joshua Maja (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands)


Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN
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Gov. Bagudu lays foundation of $1.19m first FIFA stadium in Nigeria



Gov. Abubakar Atiku-Bagudu of Kebbi on Monday, laid the foundation of Nigeria’s first FIFA mini stadium in Birnin Kebbi.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the facility will initially have 267 seats and can be expanded to accommodate 6,000 fans.

It is being constructed through the Goal Project.

Contract for the stadium construction, expected to be completed in six months, was awarded to ARON Nig. Ltd at the cost of $1.19 million.

The foundation for the project located on Kalgo Road in Birnin Kebbi. was laid by the governor,  supported by executive members of Nigeri Football Federation (NFF).

Gov. Abubakar Atiku-Bagudu of Kebbi State speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of $1.19 million FIFA mini stadium in Birnin Kebbi on Monday

Bagudu described the project as important to the development of sports in the state, and thanked FIFA  and NFF Presidents, Gianni Infantino and Amaju Pinnick, respectively, for the project.

He noted that sports remained an indispensable tool for development of society, adding that society would only progress if reward and performance were encouraged.

According to him, human beings are all equal but only those who work hard flourish.

Bagudu charged youth in the state to take advantage of the facility to excel.

Gov. Abubakar Atiku-Bagudu of Kebbi State laying the foundation of $1.19 million FIFA mini stadium in Birnin Kebbi on Monday

In his speech, the NFF President, said when the proposed project was brought before the NFF national executive, they unanimously supported it.

Pinnick, who was represented by the NFF Chairman of Chairmen, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa-Gusau, said: “We want to appreciate FIFA, especially their officials who collaborated with the Nigeria Football Federation on this project.

“They actually collaborated with us from conception, and for finally giving the go-ahead for it after due diligence had been done and in line with extant best practices.

“When the General Secretary of NFF, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, mooted the idea of this project during one of our meetings in Asaba in 2018, he presented to the board a sound argument.

“I must also give kudos to the board for graciously approving his request.

“This idea is in line with NFF’s and FIFA’s new thinking of grassroots football development and youth empowerment as well as battling social vices.”

He lauded Gov. Bagudu for his robust support for the project from the onset, including the gracious approval of the strategic massive space on which the project would be built.

Dr Mohammed Sanusi, NFF General Secretary said he wouldn’t have become what he became without the support he received from Kebbi.

He recalled that the project was a child of the campaign promises of the present FIFA President, who promised to develop sports from the grassroots.

“When he won the election, Gianni Infantino doubled the money meant for member states. This project has the capacity to accommodate 267 people but can be extended to 6,000.

“It is expected to be completed in six month. We hope to commission it by end of March next year and the total cost of the project is $1,189,470,” he said.

Earlier, Abubakar Cika-Ladan, FA Cairman in Kebbi, said that the stadium was the first of its kind in Nigeria.

While appreciating the state government for its keen interest in the project, the chairman recalled that the government had paid N19 million compensation to land owners.

He said the facility wouldn’t have come at a better time than now in view of the concern Gov. Bagudu has for sports especially football.

Cika-Ladan said Kebbi is well known in beach soccer, recalling that its contingent won the national and continental beach soccer trophy, and represented Africa at the World Cup, where it came second.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Maharazu Ahmed
Source: NAN
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Insecurity: House of Reps pledges adequate funding for NEDC



The House of Representatives Committee on the North East Development Commission (NEDC), on Thursday pledged adequate budgetary allocation to the commission to tackle humanitarian challenges in the region.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Khadija Bukar-Abba, made the pledge in Maiduguri during a two-day oversight tour of the NEDC’s activities.

Bukar-Abba said that the committee had taken note of challenges facing the people of the Northeast zone.

She said that given the quantum of work that needed to be done, it became imperative that the commission should be provided with more funding to enable it effectively carry out its mandate.​

​The chairperson said the committee had gone round some of the projects being prosecuted by the commission in displaced communities and IDP camps, noting that a lot of people​ need life-saving assistance.

“We have visited some of the IDP camps and had a firsthand experience of the depth of suffering people are going through, especially the women and children.

“We have also seen the impressive works that the NEDC has achieved in such a short period of a year since it began operation.

“But we have observed how overwhelming the work that the NEDC needed to do has been, and how their progress may be affected due to lack of resources.

“We visited Ngwom village in Mafa Local Government, about 18km outside of Maiduguri, and we have seen the 1,000 housing projects that the NEDC has embarked on; we are excited that the project would be concluded before the end of 2020.

“At the IDP camps, we have seen many women and children, and old persons who needed food more than anything else to survive, and we felt the challenges are overwhelming and the NEDC is underfunded,’’ she said.​

Bukar-Abba commended the commission for achieving so much in the last one year, noting that rather than being accused of misappropriation of funds,​ “the NEDC is grossly underfunded​’’.

“Our committee and, of course the House of Representatives would not hesitate to approve all the request of NEDC concerning the welfare of the IDPs and people of the Northeast any time they approach us for additional funding,’’ she said.

Commenting, NEDC’s Managing Director, Prof. Mohammed Alkali​, said that some of the properties acquired in the name of the commission were being used as warehouse, offices and accommodation for its guests and staffers.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in many of the IDP camps, the​ displaced persons complained of inadequate classrooms which they said had impeded on ​learning by the children.

Muhammed Abacha​, an IDP official, told the committee that ​their major challenges were ​food and ​education for children.

“We in Customs House IDP camp are facing a serious challenge of lack of food to feed,’’ Abacha said.

“We have only nine classrooms here in the camp and we have well over 3,000 school-age kids in this camp. We need more classrooms, else our children will continue to roam about the camp without any form of education,’’ he said.

Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, the Chairperson of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, informed the committee that the state government had been providing daily food support and cash to the IDPs. ​

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN
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Will Anambra FA Enter A New Dawn Without Rancour?



Will Anambra FA Enter A New Dawn Without Rancour?

, News Agency of Nigeria

Recent developments in the Anambra State Football Association (FA) following the expiration of the Ifeanyi Ubah-led four-year board on May 2, has led to uncertainties in the leadership of the football organising body.

Although boisterous activities are gradually returning to the hitherto quiet football house which organises the annual FA Cup, sponsored by Poly Emenike, Chairman of NEROS Pharmaceuticals may occasion a huge crisis.

The uncertainty is occasioned by the existence of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) backed Caretaker Committee which is at the moment piloting the affairs of the FA and another executive led by the outgone chairman, Ifeanyi Ubah which is also laying claims to the authentic leadership of the board.

Ubah and members of his executive were elected on Aug. 2 through an e-voting system which the NFF has remained silent about its validity or otherwise.

However, about one month since the NFF inaugurated the seven-man caretaker committee, headed by Emeka Okeke on Aug. 3, a breath of fresh air seem to circulate within the football-loving community of Anambra.

Okeke, a young and idea-driven American-based medical doctor, is the President of Aspire FC of Adazi Ani, a Division One club founded in 2018 which later won the Anambra FA Cup as a first timer in 2019.

The caretaker committee has the mandate to conduct elections into the board within a short period and take football back to the people of Anambra, contrary to what obtained in the past when activities were ran in cult-like manner.

Okeke and his team have for the first time held an open meeting with club owners in Anambra where he enunciated some of his plans for the growth of football in the state.

Apart from donating the N2 million prize money won by his club, Aspire FC, to club owners, Okeke also announced a N50, 000 grant as support for every club that have featured in the Anambra FA Cup in the last three years.

He brought in a team of Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) to enroll the club members into health insurance scheme that would be funded by the FA.

The caretaker committee relocated the secretariat from its two-shop office of about 20 years to a duplex in Udoka Estate, a choice area in Awka, the Anambra capital city with loud signage which leaves visitors in no doubt about the new location.

The committee has muted the idea of beach football competition and female football leagues to boost the sport, while a partnership deal have also been brokered with Juventus Academy, Italy for capacity building of coaches and easier access to contract deals for players.

To the credit of the caretaker committee are two 18-seater commuter buses to facilitate its activities and an ambitious project, “My Anambra Football’’, launched to take the game to Anambra people and engender greater interest of stakeholders in football.

Under my Anambra Football, Okeke says a minimum of National League One standard pitch will be built in each of the 21 council areas of the state to lay the foundation for effective and regular competitions.

Okeke says that in spite of these activities, his committee is consulting widely with relevant stakeholders and working assiduously to deliver on its primary mandate of conducting a credible election within the three-month timeline.

However, while the people are excited about the new lease of life in Anambra football, there is still an air of uncertainty over the sustainability of the good times.

The uneasy calm is as a result of the events leading to the Aug. 2 virtual election which produced Ubah and the constitution of the caretaker committee by NFF on Aug. 3.

The Ubah-led FA board which came on board on May 2, 2016 was due to elapse on May 2, 2020 but was unable to plan for an election before it ran out largely due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdown which was at its peak.

On April 28, the board held an extraordinary congress where it invoked a section of the NFF Statute to extend its tenure by three months to enable it conduct an election.

To drive home their point, an Electoral Committee headed by Jude Anyadufu was set up almost immediately and sale of forms commenced on June 1 after working out the guidelines and required media awareness.

This move was applauded by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Anambra chapter, which urged the committee to conduct the elections in line with best practices, and called on all stakeholders to be part of the process.

The electioneering went on smoothly such that according to a coach, Rev. Fr Obinna Dike, who is the Head of Media and Publicity of the Committee, there was no single appeal after sales and return of forms and screening of candidates and delegates.

Dike said 13 aspirants purchased forms for the nine-member board among whom were Ifeanyi Ubah and Jude Obikwelu, the outgoing chairman and vice-chairman who were sole candidates for their respective positions.

Ubah is seeking re-election for a second term, while Obikwelu is going back for not less than the fourth time.

Joe Amene and Cyprian Amuzie are also among the old officers who are seeking re-election as members.

The electoral committee, led by Jude Anyadufu, assured both the media and the participants in that election that the exercise will be fair, credible and according to NFF statute.

At a stakeholders’ meeting, Anyadufu says that of course, there are those who wished to have the elections go their way and have attempted to oppose the process, the committee has faced a lot of criticisms from those who felt we were very strict with the rules.

The entire narrative changed when on July 25, a statement from the Anambra Government signed by C-Don Adinuba, Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment cancelled the elections which were scheduled for July 27 and July 28 respectively.

The statement said the elections which involved 26 delegates and electoral officials could not hold as it violated the state’s COVID-19 law which placed a ban on all social gatherings, including election in the interest of public health.

“The Infectious Diseases Law assented to accordingly by the state governor, as well as existing directives on COVID-19, must be obeyed. There are no sacred cows,’’ Adinuba said.

All efforts to get around the quagmire, including a proposal for virtual voting met brick wall and this made the electoral committee to suspend the exercise indefinitely on July 26.

On Aug. 2, the committee conducted the election through a virtual means having been empowered to do so by the FA. The result of the election signed by Anyadufu showed that Ubah had been re-elected among other members.

Dike said the NFF was informed of the development and that all the candidates and the agents were on the platform where the elections were held.

On Monday, Aug. 3, the NFF set up a caretaker committee to administer the affairs of the FA, saying the secretary of the body had in letter informed it of the expiration of Ubah-led board and that there was leadership vacuum.

The NFF which described the development in Anambra as “Force Majeure’’, said the tenure of the caretaker committee would be for a period of three months.

“The Electoral Committee was unable to conduct elections into the FA board and Local Football Committees (LFCs) on 27th July 2020 in view of the Anambra State Government’s letter to the Electoral Committee complaining of the violation of the COVID-19 protocols of the state.

“Article 85 of the NFF Statutes 2010 provides that the Executive Committee shall have the final decision on any matter not provided for in the statutes or in cases of force majeure.

“Consequently, the Executive Committee of NFF, in its wisdom, and in order not to create a vacuum, do hereby constitute a Caretaker Committee for Anambra FA,’’ it said.

At the inauguration of the committee in Awka on Aug. 6, Ibrahim Gusau, Chairman of FA Chairmen who represented Amaju Pinnick, President of NFF, said the committee should adopt and work with the electoral committee which was already working to conduct a conclusive election.

Earlier, Dike, spokesman of the electoral committee, said it had concluded its task with the Aug. 2 board and LFCs election which produced Ubah and Obikwelu as chairman and vice-chairman respectively.

Others elected were Philip Balepo, a veteran journalist, elected into the board as a first timer, Joe Amene, Uduh Kingsley, Amuzie Cyprain, Obiefune Collins, Adinnu Okezie and Ada Edward.

“We are glad to have done our job well, and the winners have been issued certificates and the process has ended, it is up to the NFF to decide what to do with it,’’ Dike said.

From the above it could be gleaned that the major task before Okeke-led caretaker committee is to harmonise these interest to pave way for a rancour-free election.

A major setback is the resignation of Anyadufu, chairman of the electoral committee on Aug. 2, following the “completion’’ of his task. How he will be replaced and who will be the new chairman of the committee remains a big issue.

Series of engagements between the caretaker and electoral committees have been held and according to a source, there is no consensus on how to go about the election as at the beginning of September.

Some people who have followed the developments blame the confusion on communication breakdown and lateness of the COVID-19 advisory which cancelled the election.

Others observed that it is abnormal for an individual to be the secretary of outgone board, secretary of the electoral committee, secretary of the election petition appeal committee and also the secretary of the caretaker committee.

They reason that breakdown in communication which would have been avoidable because of the conflict of interests.

There is no doubt that electoral committee as constituted is the best Anambra football can wish for, and there’s no gainsaying that it is ready to conduct an election within the timeline but NFF can help by providing more direction.

As the search and efforts for a credible and all-inclusive election continue, enthusiasts say the NFF should go beyond setting up a committee to being categorical on events that have happened so far.

The NFF has maintained silence on the stage at which the former process had reached and on the concluded e-election which purportedly produced Ubah and others.

These are some facts that will enable the committee to seamlessly deliver on its mandate in the two remaining months.|

The opinion of a vast majority of Anambra football community is that the sweet music which is behind this beautiful dance must not be allowed to become silent on alter of confusion and intractable crisis. (NANFeatures)

If used, please credit the writer as well as the News agency of Nigeria

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